…sometimes it’s all about the bike.
On Friday I went over the border to Wales for a long ride in the wilds of Afan and Glyncorrwg Forests. (I can’t believe they charge £6.20 to get in to Wales now. There’s an incentive to keep the swimming up, next time I’ll front crawl the estuary rather than take the bridge!)
We rode the W2 trail, which is actually an amalgamation of two routes (Y Wal & Whyte’s Level) to create 44km of challenging trail stretching from one forest to the other. The route is basically a LOT of technical climbing, a blast along some forest fire road, a white knuckle descent to the trail centre, eat cake, repeat. It’s got everything you’d expect from a decent trail centre ride with well maintained but not sterile trails and lots of fun.
I’m never going to be as fast as my friends on a bike. Going up there’s considerably more of me to shift and coming down I have a far higher developed sense of self-preservation. Some of my mates ride like they have nothing left to live for, nutters. For me riding is more about the challenge of crossing the ground, keeping the bike moving and pitting myself against my own preconceptions of what is possible to ride over/through/up.
Now I’m officially in marathon training mode (and I realise I haven’t said much about that but I wanted to get a few miles under my belt before blogging about the road to Bournemouth) these impromptu excursions may be impossible. There’s no doubt I still had Welsh riding miles in my legs on my long run on Sunday, probably not helped by my foolish insistence on running Parkrun on Saturday morning as well! With a clear goal, a well laid training plan and a few niggly little injury worries it’s going to take the discipline of a monk to resist social rides and the lure of Parkrun but that is what has to happen if I’m going to run 26.2 miles in 9 weeks time.
Saying that, I have no problem justifying going out on Friday as a timely reminder that I can work hard for 4 hours, putting in the effort, managing my hydration and fuel and keeping my head in the game (much more than is needed on a long run, where rocks and trees aren’t trying to kill you!). I may need to have another look in to the benefits of cross training and see if I can build a regular ride in to my training plan!
Do you do any cross training? What about making allowances for fun when you should be focused on running? Advice gratefully received!